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General learning outcome:


Specific learning outcome:

Escalated fires in rugged landscapes may resist suppression until they leave those landscapes.


The landscape setting within which crews are operating.

Operational Awareness for Advanced Firefighters & Fire Behaviour Analysts

If a fire has escalated it is, in part, because the FDI is elevated. It may also be due to fuel or slope. In rugged terrain there is also likely to be contribution from the interaction of terrain and the weather, and in particular vertical air flow. These drivers are not represented in the Fire Danger system in any way, but it is because of these elements that an escalated fire in rugged terrain will resist suppression.
This is worth repeating – escalated fires in Australia’s rugged landscapes on days of elevated fire danger have never been put out. These fire go out when they leave the rugged terrain (and after up to 10km to decelerate) or when the weather abates or rains.
Thus it is imperative for fire crews to know when they are operating in rugged landscapes. For southeast Australia and Tasmania there are maps of these available on the HighFire Risk website.
This website is dedicated to bringing forward the latest research findings. They are provided to allow firefighters to be made aware of critical safety issues ahead of the material being included in the national training curriculum.
Material prepared by Rick McRae for AFAC Research Dissemination Pilot Study, March 2012.